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Ghosts

Dreams of ghosts... I don't just mean dreaming of dead people alive again (revenants). That's a universal thing. Maybe the spirit of a loved one is visiting you, or maybe a ghostly figure's just a handy symbol for "Listen up, stupid! This is important!" But when you dream of classic, cliché ghosts, glassy, ectoplasmic strangers drifting lost and bewildered, or haunting you, demanding you leave their house, perhaps even threatening you... are THESE inner symbols? Or are they spooks, literal spirits of the dead floating around, occasionally blundering into our dreams? Or, worse, deliberately invading?

If they're capable of deliberation! I was curious, so I dug up a lot of the copious parapsychological research of the last few generations, moldering unread in the Stanford library. (The things an American public education neglects!) To my surprise, ghost-busters of many traditions and theoretical viewpoints held quite consistent empirical views that whatever ghosts are, they're often judgment-impaired--either mere splinters or residues of a soul, left behind like bloodstains at a trauma scene or that persistent smell in a centenarian's home... Or, if they're souls, they're stuck in neurotic cages that barely let them even notice others--cages built of pain and trauma, or a long decay into habit and illness before death.

If you have this sort pestering you, perhaps the best thing you can do is point the way to someplace better--heaven, or a tunnel of light full of friends, or a sofa and a TV and an endless beer supply, if you have one of those skeptical ghosts who doesn't believe in a heaven. Habit may be a powerful ally on their side, but boredom's on yours! In my experience, dream-ghosts without a message are usually scared, angry, and bored. Being stuck in a loop is weirdly addictive, but ultimately, it's a dull way to live. Or die. Whatever. So if you're pestered by persistent dream-ghosts, try coaxing them. Even if they're parts of you, it can't hurt. And if they're not...

RELATED TOPICS: dreams of revenants (visits from dead loved ones) - death and the dead in general - nature and place-spirits - souls - astral planes - you're the ghost: out-of-body experiences - memory - calendrical and anniversarial dreams - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.



THE ADDICTION: by Wayan; 1988/1/26, a thoughtful nightmare
I'm addicted to faraway trains. I quit cold turkey, but I shake the house down! Junkie poltergeists...
CAUTION: DRUG ADDICTION. SORT OF.
ALL HALLOW'S EVE: by (Mrs.) D. M. Barrett; 1904, a psychic dream
I dreamt ghosts visited us, and for each scream, a relative would die.
Two of us cried out. That morning the first letter came...
ANNABEL ROSE: by Emily Joy; 2006/12/14, a ghostbusting dream on... love? sex? what?
Edgar Allen Poe confronts his dead girlfriend, who wants to drag him into the grave with her...
CAUTION: HUNGRY GHOST, SEX TALK
ARENNA, FREED: by Wayan; 1991/11/6, a magical pastlife/flying/freedom dream.
I learn to fly from Arenna the moon-girl and Crest the dragon, in the House of Deep Memory...
THE ARTERIA: by Wayan; 1994/5/24, a raw, personal tale of three nightmares.
Hypnotherapy provokes nightmares of body-part shops, secret libelers, and madmen in space...
THE ASILOMAR OF DREAMS: by Wayan; 1986/3/5, a dream about dreams.
Jungian angels at a conference of dreams test my progress. But I'm all backwards!
Struggle with the easy stuff; did all the hard stuff first...
ASTRALNAUT: by Wayan; 1994/7/30, a reverse ghost dream.
I have amnesia. Plus, I'm dead. But I have this great NASA job! Only there's a saboteur...
CAUTION: SNOTTY ABOUT CHRISTIANS AGAIN
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI: by John Keats, April 1819, a sexy nightmare poem
A knight falls in love with a fey woman, until her previous victims warn him in a nightmare that she is...
CAUTION: GOTH TO THE MAX
BELLE OF THE BALL: by Bonnie; 2006/5/2, a sexy ghost dream
I’ll win a house if I can survive a night in the Haunted Pavilion! But it turns out I’ve been here before--before I was born...
CAUTION: GHOST ORGY
BERYL'S KUNDALINI: by Wayan; 1997/8/26, a clarifying dream.
My friend Beryl's ghost makes mad love to me--just long enough to swipe my Kundalini energy...
CAUTION: SUCCUBISM?
BETTY STOPS BY: by a Kentucky woman pre-1961, a farewell visitation dream?
I was moved that Betty came to see my two babies despite her illness, but shocked when her father told me...
BLIND ANCESTORS: by Wayan; 2007/8/6, a nightmare poem about all of us
As we’re working, blind Ancestors come smash our homes--& we all see zombie vandal relatives as normal...
BLUE SOUP, NO SPARK: by Wayan; 1985/6/1, an epic dream on outgrowing God
A visit to a world where they fear blue soup ends in death and resurrection, so I'm pissed at my boss--God.
CAUTION: DEATH, REBIRTH, SACRILEGE... JOB BURNOUT
BOATS: by SAO (Shawn Allen O'Neal); March 2001, a doubly predictive dream.
Were the rowdy face-boats really ghosts haunting this old house, harbingers of my future online... or both?
BODY-SWITCH: by Wayan; 2000/6/10; a dream of a castaway soul
Spies kidnap a girl and move her soul into a madwoman’s body. Can she survive? Recover? Even thrive?
BREAK FREE: by Emily Joy; 2006/5/11, an encouraging dream on the price of safety.
I search for family skeletons, but then a talking plant on TV inspires me to seek the sun and fly free.
But certain velociraptors and barbarian swordswomen object...
CAUTION: DUELS, FISH ABUSE, THE F-WORD
BURN HIS TREE: by Emily Joy; 2007/2/7; two linked nightmares on art
Malevolent artwork terrorizes my baby and me! What's to be done?...
CLOCKS STOP, CLOCKS START: 1953/10/3 and pre-1961; two family reports of psychokinesis
Indiana: Father's favorite clock, a cuckoo clock, stopped at exactly the time he died...
Florida: an old clock (silent for years) started ticking loudly at 10:20, the time of my husband's death the day before...
COFFINS: by Beryl and Wayan; 1983/11/5, dark parallel dreams
Twin dreams of ghoulish games backstage at a theater. And they anticipated long-term ghoulishness...
CAUTION: SLOW DEATH
CREEPINESS: by Scottopic; 2001/11/30. A hypnogogic nightmare.
I'm in bed sleepily petting my cat, when I see my cat across the room! What's on my legs? It's big.
My cat chases it off... through the wall? My room is sealed. Where did it come from, where did it go?...
DEAD, NOT STUPID: by Wayan; 2000/1/20, a (psychic?)dreamtale.
My little sisters tell the detectives, "Daddy's ghost has a message for you" but they don't listen...
DIPSOMANIA: by Dick in L.A.; pre-1961, a suicide-preventing ghost/voice
I couldn't find Mrs. B and feared she was suicidal. But I heard my late mother say "She's in that hotel..."
THE DOGGYSEY: by Wayan, 2009/11/26, a dream Odyssey predicts my own artistic path
I find I'm a fox singing the Disney musical version of a canine epic: the tale of Odysseus the
Mutt and his purebred Big Brother vying for the paw of Penelope--and the throne of Ithaka...
CAUTION: POLTERGEIST
DON'T TREAD ON ME: by Herdis Bollisurdottir; c.1040, a psychic dream of a ghost with an agenda
A ghost complains Herdis's grandma bothers her. Herdis wakes, tells Grandma, and they dig up the floor to find...
DOUBLE DREAM: by "Anonymous #23 & 24"; pre-1963, two linked false-predictive dreams
Mother & daughter both dream Mum runs over a little girl. Next morning she
spots the girl in the road--warned, she swerves. But bystanders see no child...
DRACULA'S SANDWICH: by Brenda Ferrimani; 1997/8/22, a death/rebirth nightmare-painting
Dinner with Dracula goes well, considering, except for the mayonnaise. But suddenly I'm drowning!
No one sees or hears me. Am I a ghost, am I dead or alive? And how would anyone notice?
THEIR DREAM HOUSE: by Wayan; 1986/1/1, a New Year's nightmare.
A house with a fire-ghost infestation. Worse than termites! And the ghosts tell me it's my fault....
DREAMKU, SEPTEMBER 2006: by Roswila; thirty dream-haiku with various dates from 1960-2006
One dream-poem in haiku style each day for a month!
Ghosts, snow, penguins, yoga babies, elves who leave their tree...
DREAMKU, APRIL 2007: by Roswila; various dates up to April 2007; 30 dream-poems--mostly haiku
Dream haiku laid out like a calendar. Roswila's favorite is the pirate, but mine is the were-salamander...
ERMINE, or, GOTHMOG'S GHOST: by Wayan, 1984/2/11, a gender-bent & species-bent warning dream
I'm a delicate little ermine-chinchilla whose best friends are all sewer rats.
They push their food and drink on me, and I nibble to be polite...
FAMINE: by Marilyn Stablein; 1968, a dream while visiting Nepal... for six years
Famine in the monastery. We add weather charts, leather laces
and walking sticks to the menu. Even the ghosts are hungry...
A FINAL GOODBYE: by Justin Hall; dreamed summer 2001, drawn 2003; comic of a lucid dream on closure.
I found myself in a cafe in Amsterdam--or was it Sevilla?--with Kevin, who I knew was dead...
CAUTION: GRIEF
A FRUGAL GHOST: by Wayan; 2000/3/12, a financial-advice dream.
A Scottish ghost leads us on a treasure hunt, but insists we stop to pick up small change. But it adds up...
GHOST DOGS: by Wayan; 107K, digital comic of a 1993/4/2 dream of temptation.
I meet a wolf who invites me to join Dr Who's pack of sexy Ghost Wolves. There's just one catch...
CAUTION: FLIRTATIOUS WOLVES
THE GHOSTMASTER: by Wayan; 1992/6/16, a dreamtale of the Shadow.
I win a starship from the hostile Ghostmaster; in space I gain the confidence to confront him, and find...
GHOSTS PUSH TOWARD THE SUICIDE DOOR: by Wayan, 1997/8/7, a nightmare that wants a break.
I live in a haunted house where ghosts push you to suicide. But they're as tired of it as I am...
GREG'S GIFT: by Sheila and Trish, reported by Janis Amatuzio; June 1995, three dreams (?) of a ghost
A woman dreams of her boyfriend recently killed in a car crash. Unremarkable so far. But he
also haunts his ex-babysitter, two thousand miles away, who had no idea he'd died...
GUARDIAN GHOST: by an Oklahoma girl; 1919, a dream (?) of ghostly advice
I dreamed my late stepdad warned me to stand by my mom--she'd be in trouble soon--gossip & blame...
A HAUNTED HOUSE INDEED!: by Anna Kingsford; 1887/4/12, an epic ghost dream
I was warned about soul-devouring art in the haunted house, but I didn't expect to find an entire art salon...
CAUTION: ABSORBING ARTWORK
HAUNTED BUT HAPPY: by Wayan; 1990/10/13, a labyrinthine dream.
Some Christian oneirologists barge into the Haunted Firehouse. But I pose for nude unicorn photos, and...
CAUTION: DUMB CHRISTIANS, EXHIBITIONIST UNICORNS, ETC.
THE HAUNTED CODE: by Wayan; 2017/6/16, a warning dream about denying history
A mail-order warehouse in Kansas sends ghost-infected software out, causing mayhem.
But less than when Kansas exported the killer flu 100 years ago...
CAUTION: DISSES KANSAS & CAPITALISM, FOR GOOD HISTORICAL REASONS
HER OWN WEAPON: by Wayan; 1983/8/31, a poltergeist-therapy dream.
A woman says she's being stalked, but it's her own poltergeist! Her therapist makes her reach for it...
HIS MINE: by Wayan; 1985/12/2, a wild dream epic.
I'm a hobbit seeking Henry Fonda's haunted gold mine, but I end up in a showdown in a shaman's bar...

HYDROGEN INITIATION: by Wayan; 1981/1/6, a shamanic nightmare.
I'm an initiate in a Sung Dynasty monastery. But I have no idea how far the hazing can go...
CAUTION: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
I AM NOT A MAN: by Wayan; 1996/11/28, a dream of Middle Earth.
I can help slay a monster and save my friends--if I deny I'm human.
My denial has grave consequences, but it's absolutelytrue...
I DIED AND WALKED AMONG THE LIVING: by Starvibes, 2013/1/4, a warning dream?
My little daughter and I hardly notice when a truck kills us. Unseen, I calmly observe the alarm of the living...
ID FLOWERS: by Wayan; 1989/10/8, a dream of wish and fear
The villagers warned me not to walk in the alien graveyard; for at night, the Id flowers wake...
I'M ALL EARS, DR. ESTES: by Wayan; 1995/6/7, not a dream, a portrait of a radio-trance.
Clarisa Pinkola Estes (who runs with the wolves) was on the radio, and this popped out of my mouse...
INSURANCE: by a young widow; 1947, a dream of lucrative ghost advice
After my husband's death, I dreamed he pointed at a small black bag I hadn't opened. It held insurance policies...
INUIT WERE TALKING: by Wayan; ink 1982, digital color 1998; nondream fantasy.
Two Inuit talk of sun and moon and birds and little ghosts who sneak up on you...
LET THERE BE LIGHT by Nancy Price; 1948, a nightmare of helplessness
Snakebite! I'm hooked to a health-monitor. If a red light comes on, I'm doomed. But voices start whispering...
THE MEGARA INN: by an Arcadian Greek c.200 BC; two dreams that don't prevent a murder but do solve it
A traveler dreams his friend's attacked, but he ignores it. Next he dreams his friend begs him to at least avenge him...
METEOR OR STAR?: by Wayan; 2007/9/17, a dream of uncertainty
I'm an anima. But we rarely walk the day-world for long. When will I fade? Ignorance isn't bliss, it's paralysis...
MOM THE MURDERER: by Wayan; 1996/3/7, a possible psychic dream.
My mom confesses to a killing, says tearfully she had to do it--but her reasons make no sense. When I wake..
MYRNA, LOOK AHEAD: by Myrna, drawn by her daughter Joey Epstein; before 1988, a dream of ghost advice
After Myrna’s husband died, one night she felt him behind her in bed, and he whispered...
NEUTRALITY'S ROOMMATE: by Emily Joy; 2007/4/19, a spooky dream.
At our commune's new house, pandemonium breaks out when
our matriarch meets a spook. Can we live together in peace?
NED'S KISS by Ned's mom and sister Ethel; pre-1961, cledonic dreams of a playful revenant
I wished I could kiss my son farewell. That week, Ethel called. "I dreamed Ned kissed you, not me!
I was hurt. He laughed like anything and kissed me too..."
A NIGHT ON MOUNT DIABLO: by Wayan, 1984/6/8, an allegorical four-phase dream.
I'm attacked by a narcissist firebird, a rabid rattler-manticore, a masochist bear, and a sexless succubus...
CAUTION: INEPT DEMONS
NUCLEUS: by Wayan, 1979/3/18, a surreal psychologically insightful dream of the inside of an atom
I dream my theatre friends are particles dancing inside an atomic nucleus--
particles that reveal their character, motivations and power. And I'm one too...
THE OLD YOUNG MAN: by Anna Kingsford; 1880/2/21, a dream of a step-in soul
Malaria nearly kills a talented young artist; he must retrain from scratch. Why? Well, he's not exactly himself...
PASTLIFE TRAINING TRACKS: by Wayan; 1981/5/5, a bikin' buddha dream.
I'm biking around a railroad switch-yard when I realize they're life-paths. People start following me out...
THE PEGASUS CHILD: by Wayan; 1982/4/4, a dream of family diversity and spiritual advice
Dad's human, Mom's a weird owl-lynx, the kid's a baby Pegasus... and I, W.C. Fields,
that fat cynical drunken old actor, am the babysitter...
POLTERGEIST: by Wayan; 1983/11/17, a comic surreal dream.
A living camera edits us all: the dappled hawk-man, the slutty candidate, the blue businessmen
who give such bad advice when you pull the thorns from their feet. And my sweet sad hell-hound...
PURPLE SPOOK CROWD: by Wayan; 1972. Crayon of a vision.
One of my earliest drawings, of a quiet crowd of melancholy ghosts...
RAZOR GHOST: by Wayan; 1974/5/5, a nightmare posing a problem.
A man slowly walled in by neighbors till he died, is now a mad, murderous ghost.
And he's me! Can I exorcise MYSELF?
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
RUBBERNECKER: by Wayan; dreamed 2000/4/24; a ghost comedy.
I dreamed of a woman whose jeep stalls on the Antarctic ice. Along comes the ghost of a Volkswagen...
SATORI ACCORDING TO GHOST: by Wayan; 1998/4/11, a longterm predictive dream
A Buddhist student, troubled by a corporation marketing a product called
"Satori", summons the ghost of her beloved mentor for advice...
SEARCHING FOR THE DEAD: by Acucena Q., 2007/3/4, a puzzling quest dream.
I search rivers and lakes around the world for someone dead. But the living I meet act as strange as ghosts...
SELF-POSSESSED: by Wayan; a 2000/7/10 dream of a ghost (representing the World Dream Bank itself?)
In a pizzeria, customers walk blindly through a ghost; briefly possessed, they
echo his moods. But for such an insubstantial figure, he seems strangely stable...
A SHARP CLICK: by Herbert W., 1932/5/30, apparent spirit-rapping
My friend Mr D. studied psychic research but was skeptical of psychokinesis. But 24 hours after his own death...
SISTERS OF THE INTERFACE: by Wayan; 1983/12/21, a shamanic dreamtale.
My sister's beautiful; I'm plain. When she's murdered, I ride into the Interface Desert, where worlds meet...
SKYLIGHT: by an Honorable Lady; before 1894, a crimesolving dream (psychic? subliminal? ghost-visit?)
My dead father said a trusted servant was stealing our goods through an unlocked skylight. This proved true...
THE STYGIAN SENTINELS: by SAO (Shawn Allen O'Neal); 1970s, a recurring astral dream.
The Crocodile King & the Geisha Queen, the couple who guard
the bridge over the River Styx, seem to quarrel a lot...
TAROT: MINE CHILD: by Wayan; Tarot card, 3x5", summer 1978.
Deep in the strata inside you, gems lie waiting in the dark for this child to dig them free...
TED'S DEATH: drawn by Joey Epstein from her aunt's mid-1980s dream; a psychic dream
Ted died of CO2 poisoning in Hong Kong. His mom dreamed he came to tell her
it was painless. To prove he was real, he told her...
"TELL HIM I SAW HIS HEAD IN A BOX": by James Quinn; Jan/Feb 2003; peculiar ghost dream
Inside a Renaissance reliquary, I see a dried-up head--but is it St. Sixtus really? Weeks later...
I dream I'm in a cafe joking with my mom's ghost. I say "If you meet a guy called St. Sixtus, tell him..."
CAUTION: READ THE TITLE
TEN THOUSAND MAD GHOSTS: by Wayan; 1996/9/3, a psychic nightmare.
A toxic site in Silicon Valley isn't a chemical spill, but angry ghosts, killed in a camp and forgotten...
CAUTION: THE CAMP TURNS OUT TO BE REAL
A THOUSAND BIRDS: by Wayan; 2008/2/28, a mystical little dream
I watch Disney animate the Legend of the Thousand Birds, who pull
a wireframe sleigh of light right through a dark, material Santa...
MY TUTELARY UNCLE: by Wayan; 1993/5/28, a shamanic dream.
I'm half Anglo, half Kwakiutl. My uncle the shaman died,
but he still wants to teach me his medicine...
UNGHOSTS OF CHINA: by Wayan; 2009/9/2, a ghost-dream poem; Dreamverse #53
THAT DAY: art nonstop! Put myself down for obsessing. Empty man!
THAT NIGHT: I'm in rural China. Two women tell me their village declared them
dead, killed by demons. So are they ghosts, or just written off by idiots?
MORNING: wait--have I been calling me dead? Oh...
WE GO IN PEACE: by Florence; pre-1961, a telepathic dream-report of another's death experience
My father-in-law looked me in the eye and said, 'Florence, the Lord is my shepherd and we go in peace'...
A WIFE OR A GHOST: by Justin Masi; 2014? a surreal dream-painting-prose-poem on grief
My sister's fiancé Billy died a year ago. I didn't realize how deep the grief ran till I dreamed...
YOU NEED TO FIND HER: by B. Bigham; 2010/4/27, a strong psychic dream of history
I walked into a 19th century home--and family quarrel. Decades passed in seconds; then
the house burned--with me in it. Two years later I learned the house and its history were real...


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